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May 2018
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Walking The Path Of Environmental Buddhism

Shechen Eco Group

imp2imp3“With the encouragement of H.E. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and headed by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the monks and art school students of Shechen Monastery in Nepal are now involved in a program of raising awareness and implementing action for the environment under the name “Shechen Eco Group”.

In this interdependent world, the dire reality of Global Warming and climate change affects us all. We all rely on supporting the ecosystems of mother earth. The widely accepted scientific view is that Global Warming and Climate Change is created by human-induced increase in carbon emissions through polluting emissions. Globalization and Consumer Society forms the background of the crisis that our planet is in; economically, environmentally and on a humanitarian level.

Buddhist View and principles play a strong role in the movement towards sustainable living, with its emphasis on selfless love and compassion for beings and simplicity as we harness our human desires and greed that have been identified as the root source of our suffering.

The truth of these teachings could not be more evident today. Buddhist leaders such as HH Dalai Lama and HH Karmapa UrgyenThinleyDorje are strongly emphasizing the need to make changes on an individual and global level in the light of this critical time for the environment and all beings. The reality is, we don’t have time to be complacent. The Karmapa has written a 108 Point Plan for the Environment for Monasteries and Nunneries.

ShechenRabjam Rinpoche has initiated a number of environmentally sustainable initiatives within Shechen Monastery and branches, including bio-gas for cooking, rainwater harvesting the installation of solar panels, & solar hot water.
Nepal is a country that has recently been rated the 3rd worst air pollution in the world in terms of the effects on human health (EPI Index, Kathmandu basic waste disposal and pollution problems in Nepal that need to be dealt with on an individual and socio/political level. However, on the other hand, so called “developing” countries like Nepal are actually better oriented towards a fast transition of renewable energies and sustainable living, as many industries are still very localized, with strong community and spiritual values.

The first video and power point presentation shown to the Shechen Monks was entitled “Walking the Path of Environmental Buddhism”. This was made with the very kind assistance of Karma Samdup, a monk from Trangu Monastery in Namo Buddha who has initiated educational and practical activity for the environment within Trangu Monastery, as well as taking a mentoring role in the imp4broader community. imp6The monks at Trangu Monastery have formed an environmental awareness group of volunteers who go out and clean up the garbage from the surrounding areas, and separate it for recycling and re-use. They have their own paper recycling machine and vegetable garden where compostable waste is used. imp7

The Shechen Eco Group is already following suit and has taken inspiration from the Karmapa’s 108 point plan for the Environment and the “zero waste” activity initiated by DzongsarKhyentse Rinpoche, where plastic packaged goods and plastic utensils are no longer used during tsok and puja. Other activities are street cleanups and the separation of garbage for recycling and composting, The group is in touch with other local groups, sharing information and working together to reduce the situation of polluting emissions and waste in Nepal and supporting local producers and sustainable energy solutions.

Last modified on Friday, 04 May 2012 04:55


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